Dianne Feinstein has represented California in the US senate for 28 years, garnering the California Democratic Party endorsement every year despite her far-right positions on mass surveillance, military adventurism, and authoritarian rule (she's trumpeted these policies as evidence of her "independence").
After a quarter-century of legislative malpractice, California Democrats have had enough. Yesterday, the California Democratic Party denied her their endorsement. The candidate favored by the state party is State Senator Kevin De León, a moderate left-wing Democrat who backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election but says he admires Bernie Sanders' campaign and platform.
Feinstein competed hard for the endorsement, holding conference calls and a scrambled egg breakfast with delegates, sending them numerous mailers and text messages, and appearing at party caucus meetings for the first time in decades. She reportedly received a smattering of boos at the party’s labor caucus when she said she voted with labor on “every vote I know.”
At the state environmental caucus, Feinstein signed a pledge that she would not take campaign contributions from the oil industry, and claimed that she indeed never took them, according to the state party environmental chair, RL Miller. While this approaches reality – Feinstein has received $3,600 from oil and gas interests in the 2013-2018 cycle – the story changes if you widen out to the entire energy sector. The number one donor to Feinstein’s campaign committee in this cycle is Edison International, the state’s electric utility. Overall, electric utilities have donated $127,975 to Feinstein since 2013, the number two industry behind law firms and lawyers.
At a speech on Saturday afternoon, De León touted the progressive accomplishments of the state legislature and said, “In your state Senate, Democrats act like Democrats.” He indirectly singed Feinstein for voting for NSA surveillance legislation and the war in Iraq. “Real leadership, moral clarity is always doing the right thing when no one is watching,” De León said, alluding to Feinstein’s sharp turn leftward during the primary.
California Democrats Deny Dianne Feinstein Their Endorsement for Senate [David Dayen/The Intercept]